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John vd Biggelaar
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Airfix 1/48 North American P-51D, 352nd Fighter Group, August 1944

August 31, 2020 · in Aviation · · 24 · 1.8K

Herewith I present you my first ever full metal colored model.

The model represents the North American P-51D flown by Major George Earl Preddy Jr., 328th Fighter Squadron, 352nd Fighter Group, USAF, Norfolk England on August 6th, 1944.

This build is OOB and I used it to experiment on how to deal with aluminum schemes.
The tool to me was much beter to build than I expected, this because I remembered Airfix in the past as not being that great on fitting.
The biggest issue I ran into were the decals for the invasion stripes. Although the decals got on pretty nice, there was one area where no decals were provided for, the wingroot end and some areas at the bottom of the fuselage. So I had to paint these by hand and this unfortunately remained visible. My learning here is that for next time I will try to create those invasion stripes by airbrush.
Another thing I learned is that with an aluminum scheme you see each imperfection clearly, so I noticed that for next time I have to improve my grinding.
For the rest it was a pretty nice kit to build, really enjoyable.

I used Vallejo aluminum and silver acrylic to represent the metal scheme.
Other colors, primer and varnish are also Vallejo acrylic.

Reader reactions:
11  Awesome

13 additional images. Click to enlarge.

24 responses

  1. This is such a beautiful build, John!
    Congratulations on your first Natural Metal Finish: it looks perfect!
    I hate painting or decalling invasion stripes! Yours look good, though, the issues you mention are not obvious at all.
    I love your cockpit too: you put a lot of quality work in there!
    Waiting for your next build...a second NMF maybe?

  2. Great job. I'm using Vallejo Metal Color more and more. I've given up using stripe decals and now airbrush them on. Having said that, I really, really try and avoid aircraft with stripes

  3. Nice work on this John. I'm along with George on decal stripes, painting them is usually easier than messing around with decals.

  4. Nice work for a first NMF. Your D-Day ID stripes look quite good.

    For your "scraping," just use a very fine grit sanding stick over the "scraping" to remove signs of it.

    One thing (easily fixed) is that rudder is way over too far. That rudder only turns 1/4 of what you did, but re-setting it should be a breeze.

    Yeah, new Airfix kits are not what you were used to - they're very good nowadays with new design and production.

  5. Great work, looks great!

  6. Looks great John! NMF is tough. I usually prime in black first so I can see all the flaws. It take so much work but sometimes they come out great. I like the invasion stripes too. Cheers

  7. Beautiful job, John! Doesn't get better than that!

    And, BTW, many of those invasion stripes were brush painted on D-Day aircraft in a huge hurry, so many of them weren't straight at all!

  8. This is an immaculate build, John (@JohnB). The natural metal finish is perfect, interior is great. You have clearly mastered your airbrush.

  9. 🙂 ... Greetings ... 🙂 :
    A very much pleasant Mustang too see John.
    Nice work on the cockpit. Good clean and sharp work.

  10. Very nice first NMF John - and the learning is one of the great parts of the hobby! I rather like the busy cockpit.

  11. Looks fantastic! Love the blue-nosed Ponies.

  12. Great Pony John - I do like the finish and the cockpit - nice work!

  13. @johnb - this looks great!


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